Category: Stress

woman sitting in a corner

COVID-19 and Family Tension: How to Manage Conflict in the Household

When social distancing measures went into effect, families found themselves cooped up in their homes. Schools and childcare closed, so parents must look after their kids 24/7, on top of their household and professional duties.

The pandemic has caused significant distress for many families. Apart from the fear of contracting the coronavirus, parents are anxious about their financial and food security, among other things.

Household Concerns amid the Pandemic

Below are some concerns parents have expressed since the pandemic started:

Parents, especially of young children, need to manage the household’s emotional health. High levels of conflict in families can increase the child’s risk of developing emotional, behavioral, and social problems.

Here are some ways to minimize the tension within your family during these uncertain times:

  1. Create healthy opportunities to be apart

Being with other people can be draining, even if they’re your family. When you’re tired, you don’t have a firm grip on your emotions, leading to unwanted outbursts.

It’s normal to want some time apart. If your spouse or children wants to be alone, don’t see it as a rejection. Recognize that people need solitude to recharge and regroup. Some people may need it more than others.

You can go on a walk by yourself, meditate, work out, or take a trip to the grocery store for some alone time.

child sitting by the stairs

  1. Don’t punish your kids for expressing their emotions

Don’t get mad at your child for expressing how they feel. Let them shout or cry when they’re frustrated. It’s better to have them release their emotions instead of keeping these feelings buried inside.

Once your child has calmed down, talk to them calmly. Ask them what they’re feeling and why they did what they did. You can then suggest activities they can do the next time they feel that emotion, like counting to ten or taking three deep breaths.

This way, your child becomes familiar with the different emotions they feel, teaching them to handle uncomfortable feelings. Raising a mentally strong child isn’t about repressing emotions. Mentally strong kids recognize emotions and choose healthy ways to cope.

  1. Apologize

Our emotions sometimes get the better of us. You might say harsh words that hurt your family. And these instances are likely to increase during such a tense, stressful time.

When you catch yourself doing these things, take a deep breath, and stop. Take a few minutes to calm down, then apologize to your family. Communicate with your spouse about what you’re feeling. Make amends with your children by spending some fun, quality time with them.

If the level of tension within your household is too high for these simple methods, it’s best to seek a professional’s help. Many social services and private practices offer teletherapy services during the pandemic.

Mental Health Support Services in Connecticut

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH) in Westport offers comprehensive mental health services. Our telehealth therapy services help you and your family navigate your way through emotional, behavioral, mental challenges.

Contact us via email or phone to schedule an appointment.

family conflicts

How to Manage Family Conflicts During COVID-19 Quarantine

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has forced billions of people across the globe to stay at home in a concerted effort to prevent the further spread of the virus. According to an article from Forbes, staying at home is necessary for at least 20 U.S. states.

Being on quarantine for extended periods, however, can be stressful for anyone.

Family conflicts, for instance, could arise and become more frequent with everyone cooped up together. Rather than dismiss these issues as petty arguments, families should resolve these problems respectfully.

If you’re seeing frequent family quarrels, follow these three suggestions to minimize conflicts:

1. Plan a Meeting to Discuss Triggering Problems and Solutions

scolding child

Call for a family meeting to discuss — as kindly and respectful as possible — the problems and needs of each member of the family. Also, bring up potential triggers that are causing heated arguments, such as leaving the dishes unwashed or cranking up the music volume to max during work hours.

Begin the discussion by effectively describing the problem. Here’s an example:

“Since I’m doing my work in the living room, I need peace and quiet to get my stuff done quickly. But I’m having difficulty focusing on my work if you’re playing your favorite rock music on the speaker.”

After you’ve said your piece, propose a solution, such as letting your family members play music outside working hours (or use earphones to listen to music).

If you’ve identified problems that you can’t solve with a family meeting, seek additional help by scheduling an online counseling session.

2. Give Elbow Room for Each Family Member

Family members who fail to respect the personal space of others can cause heated arguments. Whether the problem is a family member using someone else’s stuff without permission or simply hanging around when the person needs their “me time,” you need to bring that up for discussion.

During your family dinner, talk about the issue directly. You could start by saying:

“Since we’ll be spending time together for several hours every day, we need to give everyone here their personal space.”

This may mean giving family members more elbow room if their emotions are running high. Alternatively, you could create a household rule on closed doors. A shut door or a door with a “Do Not Disturb” sign, for instance, is an indication for a family member give the person their alone time.

3. Perform Stress-Reducing Activities

Family members cooped up at home can take steps to minimize stress and avoid frequent and unwanted conflicts. A few activities to do include exercising to blow off steam, planting flowers in the backyard, and going through a guided meditation session.

When you need professional help during these difficult times, turn to The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health. We offer telehealth therapy for individuals and families who need advice and counseling.

A major benefit of this service is that you don’t need to leave your home or drive all way to our clinic in Westport to speak with one of our psychotherapists. Remote consultation and diagnosis is done via HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing software. Your online sessions will remain secure and confidential when you connect using our platform.

Arrange an appointment with our clinic today by filling out our contact form.

10 tips for less stressful mornings

Self-esteem and confidence are major traits in individuals that affect their success. While these are a lifelong process, the foundation of it needs to be established in early childhood. Building self-esteem will allow the child to deal with difficult situations that they will encounter during their lifetime. Since parents have the greatest influence on a child’s belief, it is important for them to let their child know where they belong, how well they are doing and contribute towards developing confidence and self-esteem.